Best houseplants that purify air and ‘add more oxygen’

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Research suggests houseplants can help with air purification, especially in areas where air quality is poor. Breathing cleaner air also helps you think clearer, calms stress, and reduces the risk for asthma, experts say. Here are the best houseplants for health and the conditions they need to thrive. 

Houseplants absorb carbon dioxide, filter pollutants and release oxygen.

Amy Rothenberg, N.D., a naturopathic doctor told Good Housekeeping: “This is an important idea considering how much time people spend indoors. 

“By adding more oxygen, theoretically, you might have better focus, fewer headaches, and an improved mood.”

Snake plants, spider plants, rubber plants, peace lilies, ferns and English ivy are some of the best indoor plants for boosting oxygen and purifying the air. 

Snake plant 

Perhaps one of the easiest houseplants to keep, snake plants, also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue” or the Latin name Sansevieria trifasciata, feature tall leaves that grow vertically. 

Not only are they decorative, but they’re also a hardy plant that can thrive on a little neglect. 

They also grow quite quickly and produce lots of new shoots which can be repotted to expand your houseplant collection. 

Spider plant 

Latin name Chlorophytum comosum, spider plants are extremely easy to grow and they don’t require constant attention. 

The plant has narrow leaves and according to NASA research, this plant removes 95 percent of toxic formaldehyde from the air in a sealed Plexiglas container when studied over 24 hours.

Rubber plant 

Also known as rubber trees or Ficus elastica, this houseplant can absorb airborne chemicals and render them harmless. 

They also absorb exhaled carbon dioxide, converting it to breathable oxygen, while eliminating bacteria and mould spores in the air.

In terms of care, the rubber plant is low maintenance and needs watering every week or so. 

Peace lily 

A 2022 study published in Applied Sciences suggests peace lilies have air-cleaning properties and can help remove carbon dioxide from the air. 

Peace lilies are a great houseplant choice because they can live for years and continuously produce flowers. 

They’re also easy to take care of; they don’t need much light, so ideal for shady spaces. 

Just keep them out of reach from pets and small children as they are toxic if ingested. 


Purifying fern plants should be part of any home, and Boston ferns are one of the best plants for indoor air purification as they have been found to remove a variety of indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, and others. 

In terms of care, ferns can easily grow in hanging baskets or plant stands, they also need medium bright light and consistently moist soil, so they might require a bit more time.

Bathrooms are a great location for a fern. 

English ivy 

English ivy or Hedera helix is a versatile plant that’s been shown to lower levels of carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and toxins in the air.

They can be grown outside or indoors, but as a houseplant ivy grows well in hanging baskets or pots, and can be trained to grow along a trellis or shape, 

For the plant to thrive, it will need direct sunlight and to be watered thoroughly once the soil dries out.

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